PSA - Incorrect field assembly can ruin your single station cycles

I just thought I would share an experience we had from our first event in case it helps any other teams out there be successful. One aspect of our robot design centered around the human player being able to drop cones out of the single player station and getting them to land upright for quicker cycle times. We practiced this a lot and have a lot of time invested in getting this correct during field play. What we experienced at our first event is that sometimes the field can be assembled differently from the plans or robots could knock the human player station off of the original position. This is hard to notice unless you pay attention to the detail.

As per the field drawings the flap at the exit is supposed to have an acute angle below the slope of the drop chute.

What I found at our first event was that the flap can be accidentally extended well beyond the slope of the ramp, causing game pieces to change trajectory in a drastic way as they exit:

As you can see that gap displayed has a huge difference from the field manuals that causes the slope of that lexan ramp to add increased difficulty for many designs.

We didn’t say anything at our first event because we were not sure of the validity of the claim but after looking at the drawings and the apparent gap from the chute assembly and field wall we can say that this is not to spec and caused our team to have to change up some things at the cost of cycle times.

We plan to check this at our next event and I would advise that teams that are using the single station to bring this up at their respective events if it happens.

While teams should be wary of it and let the volunteers know - I don’t think this is a major issue because the solution is easy - bump the assemblies together like they are designed to be, and the slope of the lexan should be to spec.

I hope this helps others, enjoy your competitions out there!

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Do you find anything in the official field drawings that specifies an angle for that piece, aside from a subjective drawing with no spec associated with it? FIRST has two legal frame borders. It appears your field was the AndyMark border, while the ones i’ve seen locally are the older FIRST borders - the two borders are different enough that they could impact this angle differently.

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I don’t think this is an issue with where the substation is located, but rather an issue with how the lower ramp is attached. In the drawing, it looks like the lower ramp intersects the substation wall just below the end of the upper ramp. But in your picture, the lower ramp is zip-tied at the level of the bottom of the wire mesh.

Perhaps someone with the field build manual could weigh in

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Looks as though the flap should have been zip-tied along the red line I drew in. This is a good example of why teams need to get out on the field during field calibration time.

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Good point… I found this in the official field drawings:


It appears to indicate that it should be zip tied through the holes just bellow the ramp, instead of around the bar like it is in the picture.

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Actually, I didn’t even notice the cause of the slope difference was different than what we thought. Great eyes on that second manual view. I am glad someone else checked into that as well.

The post already gave us more value by sharing it!

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